Monadnock Waldorf School was founded as a small nursery school in 1976 and over the last 38 years has grown to serve 200 students in nursery school through high school at three signature campuses in Keene, New Hampshire. A caring and generous donor community, inspired by our vision and mission and committed to our educational values, grew around the school and over the decades this circle has grown to include parents, past parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, friends and our own graduates themselves.
Like most independent schools, tuition alone does not cover the cost of a Monadnock Waldorf School education. Tuition revenue covers approximately 80% of our budget. The other 20% or $450,000 is raised through ambitious annual fundraising efforts and the generosity of donors like you. How important is this 20% of the budget? It’s essential! It covers the cost of offering tuition assistance to deserving families, allowing us to advance on our goal of accessibility for all families who are committed to Waldorf education yet may not have the means to pay full tuition. Donor support makes possible a compensation package for our teachers that reflects their skill and dedication to their students. It keeps our buildings warm, our play equipment in good order, and provides the supplies students use each day in our 24 classrooms!
In addition to regular and generous gifts to our Annual Fund, we have also been blessed with donors who have offered resources and commitment to support larger projects. Donors helped us to purchase our nursery-kindergarten property. Donors helped to establish a significant High School Start-Up Fund making it possible to launch our high school in 2010. Donors have helped us to expand and improve our buildings, to better compensate our highly qualified teachers, to help fund our commitment to tuition assistance, and to help us build capacity through improvements to our website and outreach materials. Time after time, donors have answered the call and the students of Monadnock Waldorf School have been the beneficiaries.
Volunteer service built Monadnock Waldorf School. Our students and families enjoy the quality education, rich traditions and beautiful environment of MWS today because of the hard work and dedication of hundreds of families who came before them. Volunteer opportunities abound and we can vouch for the sense of satisfaction experienced when a group of people give freely of their time to projects and activities that help to strengthen our school.
Each year Monadnock Waldorf School raises funds to support annual operations. Our Annual Fund helps to close the gap between tuition revenue and operating expenses. Gifts to Annual Fund make our tuition assistance programs possible, provide modest compensation increases for our dedicated teachers, and help us to care for our buildings and grounds. Last year was our most successful Annual Fund ever! 203 donors made gifts totaling $103,000 in amounts ranging from $10 to $20,000. This year’s goal is for 250 donors to support the school they love with $120,000 in Annual Fund gifts. We hope that a gift to the Annual Fund is a core commitment of every donor. Sustaining monthly gifts are welcomed.
Since the founding of our high school in the fall of 2010, Monadnock Waldorf School has funded students’ tuition assistance needs, averaging $200,000 annually, through simple tuition reduction. It became clear that this model was not sustainable since the need for tuition assistance is not likely to diminish and the number of capable and deserving students is increasing. We remain committed to making a Waldorf high school education accessible to the students dedicated to it. The Greater Opportunity Fund was established in the fall of 2013 to provide a reliable pool of tuition assistance funds, allowing promising and deserving students to enroll and excel at Monadnock Waldorf High School. $300,000 in gifts and pledges was raised to be used in the 2014-2015 and the 2015-2016 school years. We are currently engaged in raising gifts and pledges of $50,000 for the 2016-2017 school year.
In 2006 Callie Hulbert, a beloved member of the sixth grade class, died after a courageous battle with cancer. She loved Monadnock Waldorf School. Her family established a memorial fund with two intended purposes: first, to help make it possible for deserving students to receive needed tuition assistance to be able to attend and second to make funds available to our longest-serving teachers at the time of their retirements. Over 100 donors responded and the fund reached its initial goal of $500,000 in the spring of 2012. This fund operates like an endowment and a portion of annual investment earnings go into the operating budget. We hope to grow this fund to $3.5 million over the next 10 years. Gifts and pledges are gratefully accepted at any time.
Every year we have a few elementary school families who have received maximum tuition assistance but still lack the financial means to attend. There are generous donors in our school who have said, “If a family is unable to continue at Monadnock Waldorf School because of financial limitations, we want the opportunity to help.” Through the generous gifts of this small group of dedicated donors we were able to establish a special scholarship pool for these families in need. An anonymous donor has made a long-term commitment to $10,000 each year. Gifts in any amount are welcome at any time.
After 26 years of dedicated service to the students of Monadnock Waldorf School, Hans van Riel retired in the spring of 2014. Recognizing his outstanding contributions in the classroom, in the woodshop, and throughout the elementary school building, a fund was established in his name to care for our 100-year-old elementary school building. Gifts to the fund will be used for maintenance, preservation and repair, with an emphasis on the high quality and craftsmanship emblematic of Mr. van Riel’s work. Gifts of any amount are welcome. Ask about current projects and improvement plans.
Music fills the halls of Monadnock Waldorf School beginning with the number songs and finger games of our early childhood programs, continuing with recorder in the elementary school, and flowering with instrumental music and chorus in grades five through twelve. Every student plays an instrument and is expected to take a weekly lesson outside of the school day. The results are as moving as they are rewarding—our orchestra, band, and chorus performances consistently bring audiences to their feet and give our students a strong sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Some families struggle to cover the cost of instrument rental and lessons, so generous donors have established a fund to help with just such circumstances. Gifts of any amount are welcome.
We encourage interested supporters to consider including Monadnock Waldorf School in their estate planning. Planned gifts can be made in a variety of ways and may benefit both Monadnock Waldorf School and the giver long into the future. For more information about establishing a planned gift, please contact Lisa Mahar, Development Leader.